Writer Wednesday and Flash Fiction with David Fulcher

000This week, I had the chance to catch up with David Fulcher. We’ve attended several author events together, and I’m happy to feature his flash fiction piece, “Madame Zeist’s Perfume,” as well as a bit about him and his work.

Madame Zeist’s Perfume

by David Fulcher

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I touched down on that small moon in the Orion system, but I certainly didn’t expect Madame Zeist.

A probe had returned with pictures of strange ruins on the planet’s surface, and as an alien anthropologist I was intrigued.  The most interesting aspect was that two civilizations seemed to have coexisted together on the planet, intertwining their cultures.  There were black pyramids and obelisks covered in hieroglyphics, their meaning long forgotten, next to plain stone dwellings that seemed almost Western in nature.  Overshadowing it all was a tower in the center.  This was my destination.

Upon entering the tower, the head lamp on my space suit revealed crumbling stone blocking the stairs going up, but the stairs that spiraled downwards were clear.  Climbing down I encountered an invisible barrier blocking my way.  I strained against the barrier and then there was a pop! like a bubble bursting as I broke through, and I checked the indicators on my suit.  Not only was there Earth-like gravity but oxygen as well.

I removed my helmet and there was a hiss as air escaped from the seal.  I continued and reached the foot of the stairs.  Burning torches cast flickering shadows on the wall, and the air smelled stale and ancient.  Twenty feet ahead the corridor opened into a large chamber, and I could hear music and the laughter of a woman.

I entered the chamber.  Colorful shards of glass embedded in the walls caught the torch light, and bottles of every size, shape, and hue rested on wine racks at the far end of the room as far as the eye could see.  On the side of the wine cellar closest to the entrance was a large onyx table.  Seated at the table were eleven guests lavishly dressed in bright colors.  At the head of the table was the host, a striking red haired woman in a purple gown with high collars.  In her younger years should must have been a beauty, but age had creased and lined her otherwise attractive face.  It seemed strange to me that the only person drinking wine was the host.

The woman rose and approached me, and the other guests quickly stood up at their places like soldiers snapping to attention.

“Darling, you’ve arrived!  Welcome to my wine cellar. My name is Madame Zeist.”  Her voice had a sing-song quality to it that seemed otherworldly, similar to the music that floated through the chamber.

“I know you have your questions, my dear, but all in due time.  You have travelled a long way to find us, so please rest and take a seat,” said Madame Zeist.

The guests smiled and nodded, as if attempting to put me at ease as well.   I’m an intergalactic traveler and have encountered dozens of alien species.  Usually I’m extremely careful in these situations.  Perhaps it was seeing other human beings after the cold loneliness of space that put me at ease, or Madame Zeist’s gracious manner.

Then again, it may have been Madame Zeist’s perfume.  It wafted through the room, pleasant and familiar in a way I can’t describe.  In between sips of amber wine, Madame Zeist would lift up the small pear-shaped jar of perfume and spray it towards the guests. I noticed then that the guests would lean forward above their plates and sniff up the aroma, like dogs following the scent of dog food.  I was shocked to find myself participating in this odd behavior, and suddenly leaned back in my chair when I realized it.

“To the twelfth guest,” Madame Zeist toasted.

“To the Twelfth Guest!” The guests replied in unison.

For a fleeting moment I wondered what had happened to the last twelfth guest that had caused my chair to be vacant, but a second later the perfume hit my brain and a sense of immense wellbeing came over me.

Soon I began to have visions.  I was drifting through the universe, a being of pure energy without material form.  I was filled with joy as I danced across asteroid fields, spun though black holes, and melted into dying suns.  I lost all sense of time during my astral projection, and although some distant animal part of me craved nutrition and sleep, this part was overruled by the senses which simply wished to fly between the stars.

And then suddenly, perhaps due to exhaustion or starvation, I felt myself being drawn back to my body.  I saw this planet as it used to be, thriving with two races: one humanoid, and one reptilian.  And then, as centuries spun by, there was only one race.  It was a tall sleek race of humanoids with scaly tails and forked tongues, and I realized that a horrific mutation had taken place, and what once was human and once was reptile had become one.

The next revelations were intimately more personal and therefore all the more terrible.  First, just before my being entered my body, I noticed a pile of space suits in the corner with symbols belonging to a variety of nations.  Then I looked around the table.  The guests were all skeletons, posed in various positions as if enjoying a feast.

Madam Zeist was smiling at me, but her countenance flickered between her former beauty and an evil face with yellow eyes.  Lastly, I studied myself.  My space suit felt far too big, and my hands were slender and bony.  I had to press against my torso to find my ribs, which poked out sharply against my skin.

Just then, Madame Zeist sprayed her perfume and the horror subsided, replaced by a sense of wellness.  She began to laugh maniacally and I began to laugh with her, knowing that until the end of my days I would crave Madame Zeist’s perfume.

 

David Fulcher Writer’s Bio and Links

Twitter:  @rdfgoalie

Websites:

www.authorsden.com/rdavidfulcher

www.samsaramagazine.net

David Fulcher is an author of horror, science fiction, fantasy and poetry.  His major literary influences include H.P. Lovecraft, Dean Koontz, Edgar Allen Poe, Fritz Lieber, and Stephen King.

His first novel, a historical drama set in World War II entitled Trains to Nowhere, and his second novel, a collection of fantasy and science fiction short stories, Blood Spiders and Dark Moon, are both available from www.authorhouse.com and www.amazon.com.  His work has appeared in numerous small press publications including Lovecraft’s Mystery Magazine, Black Satellite, The Martian Wave, Burning Sky, Shadowlands, Twilight Showcase, Heliocentric Net, Gateways, Weird Times, Freaky Frights and the anthologies Dimensions and Silken Ropes.  His passion for the written word has also inspired him to edit and publish the literary magazine Samsara, located online at www.samsaramagazine.net, which has showcased the work of writers and poets for over a decade.

David Fulcher resides in Ashburn, Virginia with his wife Lisa, a native of Stony Brook, Long Island, and their rambunctious cats.

Anthologies

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Forging Freedom: Dimensions

Mr. Fulcher’s story “The Witch Toaster” is included in this anthology.

Books

The Lighthouse at Montauk Point

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Amazon Kindle Version

 

Trains to Nowhere

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https://www.amazon.com/Trains-Nowhere-Other-Stories-World/dp/0759623597/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542320631&sr=8-1&keywords=train+to+nowhere+and+other+stories+of+world+war+ii

 

The Movies that Make You Scream

0040

https://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000227606

 

Blood Spiders and Dark Moon005

https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Spiders-Dark-Moon-Science/dp/1418450871

 

 

The Cemetery of Hearts

006

https://www.amazon.com/Cemetery-Hearts-Stories-Fantasy-Science/dp/1420896474/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1542321420&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=the+cemetery+of+hearts+r.+david+fincher

 

Online Series

Mr. Fulcher is also writing an online series about the historic Dracula entitled Vlad the Conqueror hosted on Channillo.  In 2017, this series won the runner-up award for the best historical fiction series on Channillo.

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http://channillo.com/series/vlad-the-conqueror/

 

In The Extra-Terrestrial Toilet, Larry and his alien sidekick Nittix are put through a series of trials from the Masters of the Universe.  This series is written in the style of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

008

https://channillo.com/series/the-extra-terrestrial-toilet/

 

Turning to suspense, in the online series HONEY an obsessed woman stalks a young couple on their romantic road trip.

009

https://channillo.com/series/honey/

 

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